Cloud computing is no longer the highly hyped new technology taking hold in the enterprise. Instead, it is an accepted, common part of enterprise IT strategies. This change has happened over the course of the past few years, but the reality of the cloud market is that businesses aren't talking about whether they will or won't use the cloud anymore. Instead, all of the conversations seem to be focused on how companies will use and support the technology, and that is a tricky matter.
IT service desk teams have a huge stake in the cloud game, as it leaves them in the unenviable position of having to support business users who are running services that the corporate IT team doesn't control. Many experts agree that IT departments need to be ready to play the role of cloud broker, and service desk workers may need to be ready to serve as the middle man between business users and cloud providers. Within this paradigm, there are three key ways that service desk teams can support cloud computing initiatives:
1. Create Open Lines of Collaboration With Vendors
In the end, cloud providers want you to have success with their solutions. If you or your business users have a bad experience, it reflects badly on their brand and their technology, having a potential adverse impact on their brand identity. As such, many cloud providers will work to partner with clients to help them understand the nuances of how the solution is delivered and what businesses can do to interact with their cloud plans as effectively as possible.
It is extremely important to get your service desk team in on this collaboration. Making sure your support workers know how to interact with the cloud vendor to get help, when they can make small tweaks to the cloud system to resolve incidents and the nuances of the technology arrangement can help your support workers avoid headaches when trying to deal with the cloud.
2. Establish Self-Service Portals
Your support staff is going to get frustrated if turning to the cloud means they have to handle more tedious tasks, like resetting passwords, while also having to service as middle-men for cloud vendors. All of this leaves them with less time for strategic projects, value creation and career growth. You don't want your cloud plans to put your service desk in a worse position to succeed by going to the cloud, so consider investing in self-service portals that allow users to solve basic issues themselves, subscribe to cloud apps and otherwise interact with many technology systems on their own.
3. Put Service Request Management in Place
You can make life easier for your IT service desk if you give them a system that separates different types of service requests for them. If all of the support tickets dealing with cloud technologies are either automatically forwarded out to the vendor or sent to a group within the team that is assigned cloud support, you can free your other workers from disrupting their normal routines to deal with cloud-related support tasks. Even if you don't filter everything so aggressively, you can use service request management to help support workers quickly scan cloud-related tickets to see if they can help and, if they can't, pass the issue on to the cloud provider.
Cloud computing is changing many of the dynamics of IT operations (especially in service request management process flow), and support teams are going to be affected by all of this change. Strategic investments in different service desk modules to support cloud strategies can go a long way toward helping your IT service desk keep up with the challenges brought on by the cloud.